Music and driving

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
[quote]Drivers who listen to fast music in their cars are twice as liable to have an accident as those listening to slower tracks, says an Israeli researcher.



Previous studies have shown a link between loud music and dangerous driving and Warren Brodsky at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, wondered if musical tempo had any effect on driver behaviour. His findings are published in New Scientist magazine.



He put a group of 28 students through their paces on a driving simulator. Each student drove round the virtual streets of Chicago while listening to different pieces of music, or none at all. The students had an average of seven years' driving experience.



Brodsky chose music with a variety of styles, ranging from gentle George Benson ballads to the ultra-fast club numbers. The temporanged from a slow 60 beats per minute up to a fast and furious 120 beats per minute or more. All the music was played relatively loudly to maximise its effect.



As the tempo increased, Brodsky found drivers took more risks, such as jumping red lights, and had more accidents. When listening to uptempo pieces, they were twice as likely to jump a red light as those who were not listening to music. And drivers had more than twice as many accidents when they were listening to fast tempos as when they listened to slow or medium-paced numbers.



Brodsky says the behaviour on a simulator may not translate into the same behaviour on the road. He also monitored the drivers' heart rate and found that it fluctuated less when they were listening to music of any kind compared with no music at all. This lack of variation, he suggests, shows that music is distracting the drivers and making them less alert.



Brodsky says drivers should be aware of the tempo effect and choose slower pieces of music - or turn down the volume so they are less distracted.<hr></blockquote>



commentary?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    I didn't need that study to prove it for me. I noticed that if a song comes on that I like...my driving habits instantly change. Usually the danceable songs get me stomping on the pedal a little too much. I guess there will need to be Congress created protections built into future CD decks which only allow music 80bpm or below <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 2 of 3
    stroszekstroszek Posts: 801member
    [quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:

    <strong>I didn't need that study to prove it for me. I noticed that if a song comes on that I like...my driving habits instantly change. Usually the danceable songs get me stomping on the pedal a little too much. I guess there will need to be Congress created protections built into future CD decks which only allow music 80bpm or below <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I've noticed the same thing. Maybe CD players in cars should be outlawed, and the radios should only be able to pick up NPR.



    Oh. Nevermind. That would make all the drivers fall asleep
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Whether or not it was intended, I found that humorous Stroszek.



    I am not so sure that this study was done correctly. Is the age of the drivers indicated. When you say "students" with "7 years of driving experience" I think younger.



    Younger people will be more likely to react positively to the music, taking their attention away from driving.

    However, older people will not like the faster music, and either ignore it or become irritated.



    I personally react favourably to an exciting piece by Beethoven or Bach which need not be fast and the study seems to focus on younger people.



    I would not draw a very strong correlation between "fast music" and "inattentive driving". I think we like to generalise "fast music" too much.



    I think they should try testing rather different age groups with highly stimulating music suited to their specific tastes instead.
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